Adventure of the Week: The Golf Bike | SteamboatToday.com

Adventure of the Week: The Golf Bike

Austin Colbert

The Golf Bike, created in 2010 by Florida-based Higher Ground Golf Co. president Todd May, is this summer's newest attraction at Haymaker Golf Course in Steamboat Springs. For $15, golfers can rent these bikes for 18 holes, a healthier option than the traditional motorized golf cart.

— The bunkers at Haymaker Golf Course in Steamboat Springs were terribly tempting. Often, I wanted to take my rented bicycle off the road, off the fairway and straight into the sandy abyss. And while the staff at no point told me this was against the rules, I had the feeling using their course as my personal playground would have been heavily frowned upon.

I was riding Haymaker's newest summer attraction, The Golf Bike, which is every bit as much fun as it sounds. Created by Florida-based Higher Ground Golf Co. president Todd May in 2010, the bikes launched to the public in 2014 after being presented at the 2013 Professional Golf Association Merchandise Show.

May, an “avid mountain biker,” essentially created the bikes as a fun and healthy replacement for the traditional motorized golf cart. With a pair of 20-by-3-inch wide track rubber tires and a six-speed Shimano shifter, it's a well made — if heavy — hunk of steel.

For $15 on top of the usual 18-hole green fee ($62 for Steamboat residents), golfers can rent one of the four available bikes at Haymaker, the city's public golf course. The price isn't a big step down from that of a cart rental ($19 per rider for 18 holes), but it's a new and fun experience that's worth the price of admission.

My friend and golf companion Thursday was Devin Patrick Lightheart. If he, an experienced skier and snowboarder, considers the bikes to be "pretty rad," then you should believe they are. The extra wide tires and heavy burden of the golf clubs made pedaling a grind at times, but the fun of biking from shot to shot — which for us was often from rough to bunker to rodent hole — made the post-round soreness bearable.

The one-size-fits-all bikes retail for $995, but are reduced to a generous $795 per bike when ordering four or more. The bike I rode sat a little tall for my taste, and with the clubs making it back heavy, it was certainly an adventure to get moving.

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Each bike comes with a custom rear side-mounted golf bag, which fits 12 of your personal clubs. There are pockets, as well, for tees and golf balls, but don't expect to bring a whole lot else with you. The most important feature was the small cooler at the back, conveniently filled with ice upon our arrival. The only thing that seemed to be lacking was a cup holder and giant umbrella to block out the menacing sun (I suppose one could just wear a hat, but a giant umbrella would be much more interesting).

The idea of using a mountain bike as a golf cart doesn't seem too radical, especially in a bike town such as Steamboat. One day, I'm hoping golf bikes are found at every golf course in the country, and I'm not opposed to them replacing caddies on the PGA Tour (just think of the possibilities).

Lucky for Steamboat residents or anyone passing through, Haymaker has made the bikes available for use now, before they become so mainstream they lose their hipness. To schedule a tee time and to inquire about the bikes, call Haymaker at 970-870-1846 or visit haymakergolf.com.

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email acolbert@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert

The Golf Bike

What: A man-powered replacement for the golf cart

Where: Haymaker Golf Course, just east of Steamboat Springs on U.S. Highway 40

How: Set up a tee time by calling 970-870-1846 and ask to rent the bikes. There are four available.

Price: $15 for 18 holes, plus green fee, or $9 for nine holes